Original air date: October 16, 2022
After King Viserys’ death, the Small Council plots to install Prince Aegon on the Iron Throne. Ser Criston Cole kills Lord Beesbury who objected to Princess Rhaenyra being supplanted as queen, while Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Harrold Westerling resigns in protest. Ser Otto delays announcing the king’s death to fortify their position and demand nobles swear fealty. Queen Alicent learns that Otto always intended to install Aegon as king, and she fails to gain support from Princess Rhaenys, who is held captive in the castle. When Aegon disappears from the Red Keep, Otto has Kingsguardsmen Ser Erryk Carrgyll and Ser Arryk Cargyll search the city, while Alicent sends Criston and Prince Aemond. Mysaria, the White Worm, informs Otto that Aegon is hiding in the city’s sept, but Criston and Aemond apprehend him after a brief fight. Lord Larys Strong warns Alicent she is being spied upon, including by Talya, so she has Mysaria’s house burned. Aegon insists he is unfit to rule, but Alicent convinces him otherwise, quoting his father’s dying words. Meanwhile, Erryk smuggles Rhaenys from the castle as Otto has hundreds of common folk herded into the Dragonpit’s main hall to publicly announce Viserys’ death and crown Aegon as king. Amid the commotion, Rhaenys reaches her dragon Meleys, then breaches and demolishes the hall; she defiantly confronts the royal usurpers before fleeing on dragonback.
* * *
(epic theme playing)
(solemn music playing)
Queen Alicent: You’re sure?
Talya: With his own eyes, Your Grace.
Stay here. Tell, tell no one.
Help me dress.
My handmaiden, Talya.
Some of the servants.
I saw him last night… before he…
He told me he wished for Aegon to be king.
It is the truth.
Uttered with his own lips.
His last words to me and I was the only one to hear it.
And now he’s dead.
(sighs) What is it that could not have waited an hour?
Was Dorne invaded?
The King is dead.
We grieve for Viserys the Peaceful… our sovereign… our friend.
But he has left us a gift.
With his last breath, he impressed upon the Queen his final wish: that his son, Aegon… should succeed him as Lord of the Seven Kingdoms.
Then we may proceed now with the full assurance of his blessing on our long-laid plans.
Otto High tower: Yes. There is much to be done, as we’ve previously discussed.
Now, there are two among the captains of the City Watch that remain loyal to Daemon.
Let us replace them. Lord Lannister.
Tyland Lannister: The Treasury is well in hand.
The gold will be divided for safekeeping.
Otto: Let ravens be sent to our allies, River run and High garden.
Am I to understand that members of the small council have been planning secretly to install my son without me?
My Queen, there was no need to sully you with darkling schemes.
Lyman Beesbury: I will not have this.
To hear that you are plotting to replace the King’s chosen heir with an imposter!
Tyland: His firstborn son is hardly an imposter.
Lyman: Hundreds of lords and landed knights swore fealty to the Princess.
Tyland: That was some 20 years ago. Most of them now dead.
Jasper Wylde: You heard the Lord Hand.
Plot or no, the King changed his mind.
I am six-and-seventy years old.
I have known Viserys longer than any who sit at this table.
And I will not believe that he said this on his deathbed, alone, with only the, the boy’s mother as a witness.
This is seizure!
It is theft! It is treason!
At the least, it is…
Mind your tongue, Lyman.
The King was well last night… by all accounts.
Which of you here can swear that he died of his own accord?
Which of us are you accusing of regicide, Lord Beesbury?
Lyman: Whether it was one of you, or all of you, I care not.
I will have no part…
Alicent: Ser Criston.
Throw down your sword and remove your cloak, Ser Criston.
I am your Lord Commander, Ser Criston.
Cast down your sword.
I will not suffer insults to Her Grace the Queen.
There was no insult to me, Ser Criston. Y… Put aside your blade.
Has it come to this?
Lord Commander, enough.
Let us have Lord Beesbury removed.
The door remains shut until we finish our business.
Storm’s End is of concern.
We may not assume the loyalty of Lord Borros.
But he has four daughters, all of them unmarried.
The right proposal…
What of Rhaenyra?
The former heir cannot, of course, be allowed to remain free and draw support to her claim.
Alicent: You mean to imprison her.
Otto: She and her family will be given the opportunity to publicly swear obeisance to the new King.
She will never bend the knee.
Nor will Daemon, which you know.
You plan to kill them.
And all here accede to this.
Grand Maester Orwyle: Your father is correct, Your Grace.
A living challenger invites battle and bloodshed.
It is unsavory, yes.
But a sacrifice we must make to secure Aegon’s succession.
And then there is Daemon to consider.
The King wouldn’t wish for any unsavory…
But the King did not wish for the murder of his daughter!
He loved her. I will not have you deny this.
One more word, and I will have you removed from this chamber and sent to the Wall!
What do you suggest, Your Grace?
Otto: Time is of the essence.
Lord Commander We sterling… take your knights to Dragons tone.
Be quick and be clean.
I am Lord Commander of the Kings guard.
I recognize no authority but the King’s.
And until there is one…
I have no place here.
Princess Helaena: It is our fate, I think, to crave always what is given to another.
If one possesses a thing, the other will take it away.
Where is Aegon?
He’s not in his rooms.
There is a beast beneath the boards.
Oh, my dearest love.
Where’s the Prince?
Forgive me, Lord Hand. I do not know.
But you’re sworn to protect him.
He exploits his authority to order me away, and then he evades me, my Lord.
I believe he may have left the Keep secretly, gone into the city.
Take no one else but your brother.
And remove your white cloaks.
None can know who you are or what you seek… including the Queen.
Bring him to me, and me alone, Ser Erryk.
(tense music playing)
What is the meaning of this?
Prince Aegon’s not to be found within the castle walls, Your Grace.
Your father has sent Ser Erryk into the city to find him.
Ser Erryk knows Aegon. He has the advantage.
I trust again to you, Ser Criston, and to your loyalty.
Aegon must be found, and he must be brought to me.
The very fate of the Seven Kingdoms depends on it.
Everything you feel for me… as your Queen.
I will not fail you.
Prince Aemond: I’ll come with you.
That would not be my desire, Aemond.
If anything has happened…
Cole needs me, Mother.
Ser Erryk isn’t the only one who knows Aegon’s doings.
Aemond: Aegon brought me to the Street of Silk on my thirteenth name day.
It was his duty as my brother, he said, to ensure I was as educated as he was.
At least that’s what I understood him to mean.
I don’t follow.
He said, “Time to get it wet.”
Every woman is an image of the Mother, to be spoken of with reverence.
Sometime last night, we… misplaced our drinking companion.
Knowing that he has been, in the past, a patron of your fine establishment, we thought to inquire here as to his whereabouts.
And describe him.
That is a delicate matter.
(softly) You see, the man we seek is the young Prince Aegon.
I may trust, I hope, in the discretion of your trade.
The Prince is not here.
Has he been here? Earlier, perhaps?
Quite a bit earlier. Years ago, in fact.
But more recently?
He does not frequent the Street of Silk.
His tastes are known to be… less discriminating.
I wish you luck, good Ser. And my best to your friend.
How you’ve grown.
Otto: Viserys amended his wishes.
It’s as simple as that.
You once swore your banners to Rhaenyra.
You must now pledge them to the future king.
I must confer first with my house on this matter.
You’ll not leave this room without declaring your intention.
I am no oath breaker.
I will not bend the knee.
Otto: Anyone else?
House Fell… keeps its sworn oath to the Princess.
Long live the King.
All: Long live the King.
(ambient street noise)
Criston Cole: It seems you were mistaken as to Aegon’s habits.
Aemond: He could be in the hands of mercenaries, on a ship to Yi Ti.
He could be dead.
Let us hope, for your mother’s sake, that is not the case.
Man 1: Let’s have a look.
Man 2: Come here. Come here!
Get in there, you little…
Arryk Cargyll: How old are they?
Erryk Cargyll: About 10 years, I should say.
They have them grow their nails and file the teeth.
Makes them more formidable.
Prince Aegon spends many a night in this place.
Do you see now what he is?
You’ve not seen everything.
One of many, I’d wager.
Aemond: Here I am, trawling the city, ever the good soldier in search of a wastrel who’s never taken half an interest in his birthright.
‘Tis I the younger brother who studies history and philosophy, it is I who trains with the sword, who rides the largest dragon in the world.
It is I who should be…
I know what it is to toil for what others are freely given.
And we can’t find him, Cole.
You are a decent man with no taste for depravity.
His secrets are his own… and he’s welcome to them.
I’m next in line to the throne.
Should they come looking for me, I intend to be found.
Ser Arryk: Something must be done. Aegon is unfit to rule.
You tolerated the Prince’s proclivities for years.
Because it was my sworn duty, Arryk.
It’s for the Hand to find wisdom.
We swore an oath of service until death.
Jayne: A moment of your time, m’lords.
You’ll find no buyers for your wares here.
I can take you to Prince Aegon.
Rather, I am sent by one who knows where he is.
Who’ll tell you, for a price.
Deliver him, and we’ll consider your price.
My mistress will not treat with the servants of the Keep… exalted though they may be.
She’ll trust this to the Hand of the King only.
I think he will wish to hear what the White Worm can tell him.
Knight: Halt! Hold the gate!
Allun Caswell: Let go of me!
Larys Strong: He was fleeing from the gate.
Allun: Do you know who I am?
Larys: A warning for the Princess, I’d wager.
What say you?
The Lord Confessor presumes.
I have no love for the Princess.
And where were you going then with such urgency?
Let the King’s Justice take him.
Allun: Let go of me!
No! This is not right!
You did well, Lord Larys.
Allun: I will…
Only my duty, my Lord Hand.
Allun: (faintly) Who do you think you are?
You’ve spent many hours with the Queen of late.
There’s no reason those hours could not, in the end, benefit you.
(solemn music playing)
I will do you the considerable courtesy of assuming there is a good reason for the outrage of my treatment here this morning.
My sincerest regrets for the lack of ceremony.
And you are usurping the throne.
It was my husband’s dying wish.
Believe it or no, it is of no consequence.
Aegon will be king.
I came here to ask your support.
Well, I must credit you for your boldness.
House Velaryon has long allied itself with the Princess Rhaenyra and what has it gained you?
Your daughter dead… alone in Pentos.
Your son cuckolded.
Rhaenyra’s heirs are none of yours.
It is your husband who grasps so heedlessly for the throne.
And even he has abandoned you: gone these six long years to fight a desperate battle, returning grievously, if not mortally, wounded, leaving the Lady of Driftmark to chart her course alone.
The word of my house is not fickle.
No. But, dear cousin… you more than any soul alive understand what I say now.
Princess Rhaenys, I loved my husband, but I will speak the truth we both know.
You should’ve been queen.
I little thought to hear those words from you.
The Iron Throne was yours by blood and by temperament.
Viserys would’ve lived his days a country lord, content to hunt and study his histories, but… here we are.
We do not rule but we may guide the men that do.
Gently… away from violence and sure destruction and instead toward peace.
Is it in the name of peace that you’ve imprisoned me?
And what of my dragon?
If we are over matched, Rhaenyra will be tempted to strike us, and war will ensue.
Without your dragon, she may be persuaded to negotiate.
If it’s Driftmark you want, you shall have it for you and your granddaughters to pass on as you see fit.
You are wiser than I believed you to be…
Alicent High tower.
A true queen counts the cost to her people.
And yet you toil still in service to men.
Your father, your husband, your son.
You desire not to be free, but to make a window in the wall of your prison.
Have you never imagined yourself… on the Iron Throne?
(tense music playing)
I’ll leave you with your thoughts.
Ring the bell when you have an answer.
(ambient street noise)
You yourself are the mysterious White Worm, I take it.
Or are you simply a further peel in this stinking onion?
My condolences on the passing of your king.
Otto: Where is Prince Aegon?
I thought, the Prince is in Flea Bottom where no one is to be trusted.
I’d best secrete him somewhere safe in case they come looking for him.
Where’s the Prince?
He is safely tucked away.
I want an end to the savage use of children in Flea Bottom.
They are forced to fight, and worse… your gold cloaks take the bribes given them to look away.
An obscenity either tolerated or ignored by the crown.
I’ll look into it.
You have my word.
When your plots ripen and you install your grandson on the throne, remember it was me who put him there.
I could have killed him as easily as a wasp on fruit.
There is no power but what the people allow you to take.
I will remember.
Where is the White Worm?
Erryk: She sold you for a price.
And why have you paid it?
I want my mother.
Your grandfather, the Hand, will meet you outside the city walls.
You flee what other men die seeking, Aegon.
I do regret this, friend.
(intense music playing)
Prince Aegon: No! Stop! No.
I was hoping you disappeared.
Is our father truly dead?
Yes… and they’re going to make you king.
Erryk: Are you going to help me?!
Aegon: No! Let me go!
Where’s your brother, huh?
Let me go!
Let me go!
I have no wish to rule!
No taste for duty! I’m not suited.
You’ll get no argument from me.
You let me go, I will find a ship and sail away, never to be found.
The Queen awaits.
(tense music playing)
None of this is a game.
And yet you treat it as one.
A charming contest, the… prize, a pouch of silver.
We have relied on one another these many years.
And now it is the good of the family that we both desire.
Whatever our differences, our hearts remain as one.
Our hearts were never one.
I see that now.
Rather, I have been a piece that you moved about the board.
If that is true, then I made you Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
Would you have desired it otherwise?
How could I know?
I wanted whatever you impressed upon me to want.
And now the debt comes due.
A debt you were happy enough to pay.
A sacrifice made for the stability of the realm.
No king has ever lived that hasn’t had to forfeit the lives of a few to protect the many.
Though I understand your squeamishness.
Reluctance to murder is not a weakness!
I have Aegon.
We’ll proceed now as I see fit.
We will send terms to Rhaenyra on Dragons tone.
True terms, such that she may accept without shame.
If she lives, her allies will mass behind her banners, looking for her return.
Then she must not return.
My husband would have desired this mercy be shown to his daughter.
Or you, his daughter’s childhood companion?
Criston Cole will be named Lord Commander of the Kings guard.
My son will be anointed tomorrow at dawn.
The whole of King’s Landing must witness his ascent.
He will assume authority. There will be no more dithering.
My son will take the crown of his namesake, the Conqueror, and carry Blackfyre, his sword.
Let the people remember the ancient strength of House Targaryen.
You look so much like your mother in certain lights.
As you wish.
Larys: Your Grace.
The hour is late, Lord Larys.
I’ve found out something that you should know.
Have you asked yourself, I wonder… how it is… (grunts)
That your father, the Hand… found Aegon first?
There is a web of spies at work in the Red Keep.
Along its threads travels news of all our doings.
Your father knows this, but has left it in place.
More than once, it has proved advantageous to those willing to… feed the weaver.
And this weaver watches me?
One of the little spiders is your lady-in-waiting.
There are more like her.
Even I do not know their number.
There is one way to destroy his advantage.
It must be taken out at the head.
When the Queen dies, the bees fly without purpose.
Begging your pardon for the turn of phrase, Your Grace.
I assume this task falls within your expertise.
If you wish it… it will be done.
(Larys breathing heavily)
Erryk: Out of my way! (grunting)
With me, Princess.
I cannot let this treachery stand.
Where are we?
Just south of King’s Way.
The Blackwater’s this way.
I won’t leave Meleys.
If I could get to the Dragon pit, then…
They’ll expect you there, Princess.
You won’t get past the gates.
You must make for the riverfront and find a ship.
Before they know you’ve gone.
Watch Captain: (shouting) Move it! Go! Go!
Keep moving! That’s right.
Watch Captain: Halt! Halt!
All of you, move forward!
Erryk: Out of the way!
Out of the way!
Alicent: Have the decency to look grateful.
Do you know what has been done to give you this day?
In an hour, you will be king.
And my father never wanted this.
That’s not true.
He had 20 years to name me heir and never did.
Steadfastly, he upheld Rhaenyra’s claim.
He changed his mind.
He could have, but he never did because he didn’t like me.
And yet, with his final breath, he whispered to me that you should take his place on the throne.
Do not toy with me, Mother.
I speak the truth.
Listen to me, Aegon.
Your grandfather, the Hand, will try to impress on you that Rhaenyra should be put to the sword.
You must reject this counsel.
We must not rule with cruelty and callousness.
For all her faults, she is your sister, your, your father’s daughter…
Do you love me?
Watch Captain: (shouting) Make way for the royal wheelhouse!
Watch Captain: (shouting) Hey, hey, forward then.
Guard: Go on, move yourself! Come on!
(captains, guards shouting)
(captains, guards shouting)
Otto: People of King’s Landing… today is the saddest of days.
Our beloved king… Viserys the Peaceful… is dead.
But it is also the most joyous of days… for as his spirit left us… he whispered his final wish: that his firstborn son, Aegon… should succeed him.
Out of the way! Move!
Commander: Present… arms!
(powerful music playing)
Otto: It is your great good fortune and privilege to be here to witness this: a new day for our city… a new day for our realm.
A new king… to lead us.
Septon Eustace: May the Warrior give him courage.
May the Smith lend strength to his sword and shield.
May the Father defend him in his need.
May the Crone lift her shining lamp and light his way to wisdom.
Criston: The crown of the Conqueror, passed down through generations.
(Aegon breathes deeply)
Let the Seven bear witness:
Aegon Targaryen is the true heir to the Iron Throne.
All hail His Grace, Aegon, Second of his Name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm.
Aegon the King!
(crowd applauds, cheers)
Crowd: Aegon the King! Long live Aegon!
(intense music playing)
Open the doors!
Open the doors!